Modern Chess Combinations - Best Tactics of 2017

Roman Jiganchine
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 This publication is a collection of nearly 500 best combinations played by strong chess players in tournaments that took place in 2017. To see the solution for the combination - go to the next page in your e-reader. This book is the continuation of the "Practical Tactics" series, which provides instructive tactical positions from the most recent top chess tournaments. Practical Tactics will allow you to

* Follow the recent games of top grandmasters

* Improve your game

* Study combinations any time and anywhere

* Enjoy a collection of annotated puzzles that you have not seen in any other tactics books

* Maintain regular practice by solving several puzzles every day

For the purpose of this collection, the author used Mikhail Botvinnik's definition of a combination, which defines it as "a forced maneuver or maneuvers combined with a sacrifice, as a result of which the active side gains an objective advantage". All the puzzles have been carefully checked to ensure the correctness and uniqueness of solutions, so the reader can be certain that there is only one winning continuation in each position.

The previous volumes in the "Practical Tactics" Series were:

Best Combinations of 2015 - January, February, March

Best Combinations of 2015 - April, May, June

Best Combinations of 2015 - July, August, September

Best Combinations of 2015 - October, November, December

Modern Chess Combinations - January, February, March 2016

Modern Chess Combinations - April, May, June 2016

Modern Chess Combinations - July, August, September 2016

Modern Chess Combinations - October, November, December 2016

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Additional Information

Roman Jiganchine
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Published on
Feb 18, 2018
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Games & Activities / Chess
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There is an interesting paradox in the chess community - many coaches and teachers warn players of all levels against the excessive obsession with opening theory and yet the vast majority of chess materials in digital or printed form are dedicated to specific opening variations or positions. While everyone admits that memorizing variations will never guarantee success in over the board or online encounters, there is clearly a demand for products that help chess players of all levels to successfully navigate through the first stage of the game. At the same time, there is a lack of detailed discussion regarding how seasoned players (expert level and above) structure their work on chess openings, store their analysis, come up with new ideas, prepare for tournament games and so on. Rather than provide another set of variations, key positions and critical games in a specific opening area, this book is meant to fill this gap and help the reader to make sense from all the information that is out there and save as much time and energy as possible, while still building a bulletproof opening repertoire. The book is aimed at any chess player who wants to improve their opening play and is looking for some guidance in that area.

Despite the large proliferation of computer chess software, there is a lack of explanation for how to tie to it effectively to one's study of openings. In the most advanced book on the subject, 'Opening Preparation', published in 1990s, the renowned coach Mark Dvoretsky, while giving great coverage for other topics, described the system for storing opening analysis on paper cards, with a side note that this was outdated and software should be used instead and that this was a large topic deserving a separate discussion. Since then there was a deafening silence on the subject in chess books, at least partially inspiring this publication, which outlines the system for storing opening analysis that served the author well for almost a decade.

The goal of the book is to help the reader to increase their creativity in the opening phase of the game - both at home and during the games - whether you are a serious tournament player, or just play chess for fun at a club or on the Internet. Most of the plans and ideas are coming from Grandmaster games, with additional examples of preparation from the author's own master level games. Whether you enjoy opening preparation already, or it is your weak spot, I hope the book will give you some food for thought and practical suggestions applicable immediately upon reading the book. If rather than remember exact opening moves from the book examples, the reader is instead inspired to come up with their own ideas - the author's mission will be quite accomplished!

Good opening preparation is all about picking the right direction for opening research and investing time into fine-tuning the understanding of favourable positions that are most likely to occur in our games. The basic premise throughout the book is to base one's opening preparation on 3 E's:

Enjoyable - the positions that you analyze during opening preparation should appeal to your chess taste, and the process itself should feel pleasant and creative. See the section on 'Creativity' for more details.

Effective - ultimately it should bring good results during tournament games, and be targeted at the positions that are most likely to occur on the board. This is covered under sections on Cutting Opponent's Options, Transpositions, and so on. Our choice of opening variations is more likely to make our work effective than anything else.

Efficient - this is not as important as effectiveness, but we still don't want to waste time and analysis, so various computer tools are suggested to optimize the 'how' of opening analysis, save our work, and efficiently retrieve it.

While it has plenty of examples and annotated games, this book deals with opening preparation in general. For books on specific openings, the reader might want to explore other books in the "Opening Preparation" Series:

- Spanish Opening - Strategy and Tactics for White
- Exchange Slav - Strategy and Tactics covers the particular opening and pawn structure for both sides
- Isolated Queen Pawn: Strategy and Tactics spans multiple openings, but focuses on a single common pawn structure

From America's foremost chess teacher and author comes a new standard: a comprehensive course covering all aspects of the game, to improve your technique whether you are a newcomer or a longtime fan.

One of America's best-known chess masters, Bruce Pandolfini has helped millions learn the intricacies of chess through his acclaimed books and workshops. In this exciting volume, he presents a complete overview of the entire game and its culture. Structured as a dialogue between a beginning student and an expert teacher, Pandolfini's Ultimate Guide to Chess takes the student step-by-step from fundamentals to advanced, highly strategic play. Combining easy-to-follow diagrams with trenchant and up-to-date analysis, Pandolfini puts a new twist on accepted chess theory, offering a seamless beginning-to-end approach, including:

• a short introductory history of the game

• the moves, rules, and contemporary notation forms

• the basic principles of chess

• how to develop an opening repertoire

• the art of tactical play

• pattern recognition and memory aids

• traps and pitfalls to be avoided

• middlegame play, strategy, and planning

• defense and counterattack

• transitions to the endgame and the endgame itself

• computers and the future of chess

• the best websites for playing chess online

With Pandolfini's expert insight into the history and modern world of chess, as well as several appendices to enhance play and appreciation, Pandolfini's Ultimate Guide to Chess makes the perfect gift for players of all ages and will be the benchmark title for chess players for years to come.
Schliemann Defence is known as the Jaenisch Gambit especially in Russian literature, because it is considered that Carl Jaenisch was the first chess player to seriously analyze this response to 3.Bb5. It is an excellent practical choice for a chess player, because it leads to a rather special set of positions, that are not very familiar to most players on the White side, so an expert Black Schliemann player will often get to show off his better understanding of pawn structures and piece maneuver common to this variation, making it possible to take over the initiative and play for a win in every game. I suggest a careful study of illustrative games to better absorb those themes, in addition to practicing this opening in blitz and rapid games to get a better feel for them.

Today many strong chess players occasionally play it, with Teimour Radjabov being one of the main proponents, as you will see in the example games. Levon Aronian has also tried it a few times, and other top players who have it in their repertoire include Vadim Zvjaginsev, Alexander Khalifman, Ivan Sokolov and Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu. Magnus Carlsen himself tried it on a couple of occasions. Among the players who played it in the previous decades, one can name Ventzislav Inkiov and Ratmir Kholmov. The player’s index at the end should be a starting point to finding key players and studying their games.

Upon studying this book and adopting the Schliemann, you will discover that playing this line has the following benefits:

- Black enforces his variation on White as early as the third move, and thus takes most of the theoretical battles to his own "home turf"

- Black himself has to sharpen up his playing instincts from the very early stage of the game and play as concrete moves as possible, because theory tends to not go very far in the Schliemann; it is rare to be blitzing out theoretical lines anywhere past move 10, if not move 5

- The nature of arising positions, where Black most often has a strong center and/or two bishops - allows a player to develop a good sense of initiative if he or she does not have one already

The same applies in positions where Black gambits a pawn and plays for compensation, either in the middlegame or in the endgame

If one has not played similar risky sharp openings before, and/or has discarded gambits like the Schliemann as too positionally unsound - playing it will expand their positional horizons and broaden understanding of chess in general

About this Book

Note that this is a combined book that contains two previously published volumes - Schliemann Defence - Theory and Practice (Volume 1) and Schliemann Defence - Tactics and Combinations (Volume 2). While it does not contain any extra content, it gives the reader an extra convenience to have one book that they need to play the Schliemann with confidence.

The book has also been completely reformatted for the printed edition with in terms of layout, structure, and diagram resolution. The improved table of contents will allow you to navigate around the material more easily and use the book three purposes:

- As reference in the opening theory sections

- For pleasure when studying the related illustrative games

- For training in the tactics sections

At the moment of writing (fall 2017) there has not been a dedicated book on the Schliemann in recent years, and this publication is meant to fill that gap. The book is structured in such a way that each section presents the theoretical variations, followed by some games by top players that illustrate the typical ideas for each variation. The first few sections are heavy on theory, as White tries to directly refute 3 ...f5, while the consequent chapters focus more on understanding typical ideas and pawn structures as White takes a more solid and positionally sound approach.

 A break is generally an unexpected or sacrificial pawn move that can serve multiple purposes, including, but not limited to:

Opening up files or diagonals
- Directly attacking opponent's king
- Gaining space
- Freeing up a square (e.g. as an outpost for a knight)
- Undermining opponent's pawn structure/chain
- Creating a passed pawn

Inspiration for this book came from reading Vladimir Kramnik's collection of games, which featured a special section on the pawn breakthroughs. Later studying the games of Mikhail Botvinnik, Carl Schlechter, the author also spotted their great ability to play with the pawns. In the book, the chapters are presented starting with Schlechter and ending with Kramnik, to reflect the development of chess thought.

Sacrificial pawn breaks are very common in chess and happen in a wide variety of positions, from sharp opening theoretical positions - to seemingly calm endgames. The challenge in writing this book was not in finding examples, but rather in constraining from adding more and more illustrative games. That means that once you study this topic, you should be able to frequently use the acquired skills in many of your tournament games, making this knowledge of great value for a practical player.

The book is filled with dozens of training questions so that before seeing the move played by the grandmaster - the reader can practice their skill and come up with an answer on their own. To see the solution to a position - just go to the next page in your e-reader.

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